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Advancing Biomedical Research from the Coast of Maine

The Maine IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (Maine INBRE) is a collaborative network of education and research institutions aimed at increasing the state’s biomedical research capacity, with a scientific focus on comparative genomics. Over the last 18 years, Maine INBRE has successfully leveraged INBRE funding from the National Institutes of Health to establish a regionally renowned Bioinformatics Core and training and educational programs that are cementing a growing biomedical workforce across the state. This year, Maine INBRE was awarded its fourth 5-year, $20M grant from the NIH to continue its efforts. One focus of the program under this award is the development of its Research Training and Resources Core that will further integrate training and core facilities resources and services to enhance the research programs of investigators across Maine and the northeast region. AAAS RCP was invited by Maine INBRE leadership to conduct an external review and provide strategic guidance on this and other components of the INBRE program.  

The AAAS review panel, consisting of Dr. Irene Aninye (Senior Program Associate at AAAS RCP), Dr. Karl Steiner (University of Maryland Baltimore County), Dr. Rob Edwards (San Diego State University), and Dr. Jan Blancato (Georgetown University), conducted a site visit at Mount Desert Island (MDI) Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. The MDI Biological Laboratory was founded in 1898 as a summer research and education facility that offered scientists access to countless diverse animal species and facilities to conduct research in a retreated space on the rocky Maine coastline. By the 1920s, MDIBL began to focus on human health issues, and has since become a leader in genomics and regenerative medicine research. It is the lead institution among 12 other research-intensive, primarily undergraduate, and outreach institutions in the Maine INBRE network. RCP has worked with Maine INBRE for many years and looks forward to continuing to provide strategic advice and guidance to the program concerning its endeavors to build research capacity and a sustainable and diverse biomedical workforce in the state of Maine.